Touring Before the
2000 Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette

Day 3: July 13, 2000
Stonehenge to South Wales
















 


Our third day opened dry and sunny as we walked from Dockland Scout Project the few blocks to the care hire location near the South Quay DLR station in Docklands. The three Ford Galaxy minivans (a Volkswagen, really, but who's looking?) were ready, and we headed back to the Lord Amory to pick up the Scouts and start our first day on the road. As this was my fifth trip to the UK, I was comfortable driving on the left, but I think it was a bit of a shock for Tony and Mark in the two Galaxies behind me. Thank goodness for the ham radios, or we'd have had real problems coordinating our little convoy as we left London.  

A few hours later, we arrived at Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain. We picked up the audio wands and crossed under the road to see the ancient stone circle. 
It seems like every time I visit Stonehenge, the wind is blowing a gale across the plain over the dozens of prehistoric burial mounds. It just adds to the atmosphere, I suppose. Does make it a bit difficult to eat lunch when the bread from your sandwich keeps flying away, though. 

at left - Nick at Stonehenge

From Stonehenge, we drove north and west into Wales. As usual, I got us lost leaving the area, and this time we wound up in Bath, before finding our way to the right road toward our next stop - Caerphilly Castle in South Wales. 

Caerphilly is huge - 30 acres - and one of the most interesting of castles. Not only are the walls in good shape and the moat has been restored, but there's a display of siege engines in the forecourt, to the delight of the Scouts (below).  

Rob at Caerphilly 


Left, Nick, Dave and Rob with a mangonel - a  catapult powered by a twisted rope.
Rob and Jimmy on the inner wall, looking toward the main gate.
From Caerphilly, it was just a short hop south to Penarth, on the outskirts of the Welsh capital, Cardiff. We got lost, again, but eventually met up with our host Barry Angus, who led us into Penarth and to the Scout District HQ. 

at left: the group at the
Penarth District Scouts HQ
Barry Angus, third from right

Once we'd unloaded the cars, we walked a few blocks to a chippie (fish and chip shop) to pick up dinner. The food was great, and cheap - you got an entire fish of some kind or other (we ate them out of most kinds, so it became pot luck), and a huge mound of chips ("French Fries" to us Americans) covered in curry, for only a few pounds. 
After dinner, while most of the Scouts played football (soccer) in the field next to the HQ, Barry, Mark, Ed, George and I went down to the Penarth waterfront for a walk. It's a quaint Victorian area, along a seawall and beach, with an amusement pier sticking out into the channel, and just what we needed to finish off a perfect day.

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- Last update February 23, 2001